West Kowloon Law Courts Building, where the Small Claims Tribunal is located. Photo: Google Maps

Troubled employment recruiter Ester Ylagan has returned to Hong Kong after spending 15 months in the Philippines in hiding amid a scam where she offered Filipino domestic workers jobs in third countries.

Last year, Ylagan promised jobs in Canada and the UK to around 500 Filipinos, but the offers turned out to be bogus. Each domestic worker reportedly paid HK$10,000 to HK$15,000 (US$1,280-$1,920) to Ylagan for the processing fee.

Ylagan closed down her employment agency and fled to the Philippines after claims against her were made at the Small Claims Tribunal by the affected domestic workers. After 15 months, she returned to Hong Kong to speak up about the incident.

On December 13, Ylagan claimed that a former friend had taken ownership of her apartment in Aberdeen and had taken her Mandatory Provident Fund savings. She said she had planned to sell the apartment and use her MPF savings to give refunds to the hundreds of affected domestic workers, sunwebhk.com reported.

Ylagan also said she had been tricked by a man named William Clinton into offering the non-existent jobs in Canada and the UK. She reportedly recruited around 500 domestic workers and collected HK$5 million from the scam.

She now has no money to repay the affected workers, and is applying for legal aid to claim back her apartment and sell it.

The claims filed against her at the Small Claims Tribunal are still ongoing.

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